Yes, I AM Mom Enough!

Yesterday’s release of the Time magazine article incited outrage and comments from moms all over. Some moms were upset because of picture itself of a mom breastfeeding a toddler (who is standing on a chair to reach his mother’s breast). Others were upset because it showed a woman breastfeeding in public. It was all over my Twitter feed. Neither of those things upset me.

What DID upset me? The title. “Are you Mom Enough?” I could care less about what other moms do – breastfeeding in public (or not), breastfeeding a toddler (or not) or attachment parenting. I know what works for me doesn’t have to work for anyone else. Or vice versa.

But, the idea that I’m NOT mom enough because I’m not breastfeeding a toddler did spark my outrage. The title of this article is yet ANOTHER way that words have hurt the community of moms. Stay-at-home, Work-at-home or Work-outside-home, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding – these are all words that have caused divisiveness in the Mom community.

Rather than helping moms unite as a force to be reckoned with, this choice of words for the cover article title only serves as a way for us to pick at one another for our parenting styles. This mom wants to breastfeed her toddler? So what? She wants the world to know about it? Fine by me. Her choices do not mean that she is “more mom” than I am. Not at all.

I’m a single mom living in New York City. Not many women would freely choose to be a single mom. I got out of a relationship and am co-parenting my son with his father. Yes, a single mom I am, but it doesn’t make me any “more mom” than the moms featured in the article. This is just my experience. It does not make me braver than anyone else. It doesn’t make me stronger than anyone else. It just makes me – me.

So yes, I AM mom enough! Next!

This post has a compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Disclosure Policy.

Intimate Partner Violence Part II (Chris & Rihanna)

It has been three years since this incident happened. Brown was 19 and Rihanna was 20 years old. He was mandated for treatment, given five years’ probation and court-ordered to stay away.

Unfortunately for them, not only do they have to deal with the personal ramifications of Intimate Partner Violence or IPV, they also have to deal with the constant attention from the media – Twitter, Facebook, news reports, etc. Rihanna is faced with people judging her for the choices she makes and right now, people are calling her stupid for working with Brown on an album.

Brown is being ripped apart in the media for something he did three years ago. Every time he takes a step forward in healing and working on himself (focusing on his music), he is taken ten steps back with tweets, facebook messages and signs throwing his past actions in his face. I am in no way excusing his behavior – indeed – he received consequences for his actions – by having a criminal record, probation as well as lost endorsements and reduced radio play. But, I’ve also noted that he has for the most part, kept out of the spotlight until recently.

Given how easily news travels and how accessible it is for everyday people, it is no wonder that Chris & Rihanna are receiving such a backlash.

So I ask you, think about the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life. The absolute worst thing you have EVER done? Do you have that in mind? Think about how horrible you felt after realizing that what you did was wrong. Now think about how you’d feel if you saw signs attacking you every time you hit a milestone in your life. During a job promotion, graduation, celebration or family event – how would you feel if you couldn’t watch television because you were being constantly insulted? How could you work on rehabilitating yourself and growing from the experience with people constantly telling you that you don’t deserve forgiveness, redemption or good things in life because of ONE action in your life?

Everyone loved Chris Brown before this happened. People praised his talent, ability and music. Then he did something very stupid and hurtful. He fell from grace, was held accountable for his actions, accepted the consequences and is now trying to make better decisions. Yes, he will screw up – he’s very young. But, then again we all do.

Level 0: Heiddi has no significant relationship with any product, service or brand mentioned in this post.

Whitney Houston: A Tragic Loss

One of the rarest, most memorable voices of all time has been silenced. Whitney Houston has always been a favorite of mine ever since her song “The Greatest Love of All” was released. I sang along with “I wanna Dance with Somebody” and “How Will I Know” even though I couldn’t hit her notes. Not many people could.

And that’s what is special about her. Her voice was a gift and it was fleeting. I’ve read about her lows the last several years of her life – drugs, erratic behavior and her rocky relationship with her now ex-husband, Bobby Brown. For me though, all of that pain heightened her gift. Her voice is one of the most, if not THE most, distinctive ever. Anyone hearing her music would know it was her. Because of her difficult last years, her triumphant early years became more so for me.

Her music was amazing. By far, my favorite song is her version of the national anthem and no one will be as recognized for that song than Whitney. So here, I won’t talk about her problems – we all have them. I want to share my love for her talent, her gift; the gift of her voice.

To Whitney, may you sing now with the highest of angels in heaven for you were one of their members graciously lent to us here.

Rest in peace, Whitney. (1963 – 2012)

2011 in review

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and celebrating with your loved ones. Just wanted to share the success you’ve brought me in the last year with your support. Thank you for helping me do it! Happy New Year!

 

Sincerely,

Heiddi Zalamar

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2011 in review

Here’s a round-up of my success here. I couldn’t have done it without my faithful readers. Happy 2012!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Queen of the Mist: A Review

Last Wednesday found me on a musical adventure with Anna Edsen Taylor. Taylor is a real-life NYC renegade who was the first woman to survive a plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own making. Created by Michael John Lachiusa and presented by the Transport Group, Queen of the Mist is the musical journey of a woman initially dismissed as a crazy, old lady.

My first impression of Taylor (played by two-time Tony Nominee Mary Testa) was that of a woman who lived a hard life. Widowed and having lost a child, Anna had to figure out how she would support herself while also trying to make a name for herself. I thought she would make a great writer given the stories she told trying to avoid eviction at various points before coming up with the idea of going over the falls in a barrel.

Narcissistic and grandiose were the words that came to mind as the story began. Fiercely determined were other words that came,too, as she began designing her barrel. As the tale progressed, I found Anna lonely, isolated and withering in character as she got closer to her goal.

Something I didn’t expect to feel for Anna was compassion. At the beginning, I felt none for her thinking that she was in bad situations because of bad choices she made. But, as the story continued, a nugget of compassion grew. And I didn’t want to feel for her and feed into her grandiose and somewhat, psychotic, persona. Anna grew on me.

She ended up being a woman that I admired for her courage, determination and unwillingness to accept society’s definition of her – an elderly woman who needed to settle quietly into old age. If there was ever a song that defined this woman, it was “There is a Greatness in Me.” She did not let anyone’s doubts stop her from achieving the seemingly impossible. This is one I’m going to see again! You can see it for yourself through December 4th!

And for my readers  – Use this DISCOUNT CODE: $10 off with code TGMAMA

“For more blog posts on Queen of the Mist, visit MamaDrama.”

MamaDrama on Facebook & Twitter

The Transport Group on Facebook & Twitter

This post has a Compensation of Level 1: The product or service mentioned was provided to Heiddi free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public).

NYC Potluck 2011

On November 20, 2011,  Mommyslinks and City Harvest are teaming up to bring NYC families together to share a special meal and to help New York’s neediest families by collecting food for Thanksgiving. Every family has suffered, but we also have much to be grateful for. And we can show that by sharing what we can with other families. Check out all the details below. Bring friends and family to share the fun. Be sure to sign up at Mommyslinks and rsvp today! See you there!

Mommy’s Links Thanksgiving Potluck & Food Drive

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

1:00  pm

Loft On Fifth

144 5th Avenue

New York, NY

Near N, R, Q, F, V, 4, 5, 6, and L trains

Mommy’s Links Food Drive For:

City Harvest

   The most needed foods are:

canned fruit

canned vegetables

peanut butter (plastic jars)

mac and cheese (packaged)

hot and cold cereal (packaged, family-sized)

No glass, please, with the exception of baby food!

Mommy’s Links Potluck Dinner:

Please rsvp with the meal you would like to bring to potluck**

RSVP at www.meetup.com/mommys-links-daddys-links

**Please remember we are relying on your dish to be on site**

There will be crafts, fun for the kids and much more!

Event Sponsored By:

North American Refinery

1:00 pm to 3:00pm

Need money for the Holidays? Bring your GOLD, Leave with CASH!

Once Upon A Cupcake NY

Will Sponsor All Desserts

Un-Halloween

Well, Halloween’s finally over and I’m here to report that I’m glad about it. It wasn’t just that my birthday was two days before Halloween (and I’ve never dressed up in costume for my birthday). For me, Halloween just isn’t fun anymore and hasn’t been for years.

Here in NYC, I haven’t seen many trick or treaters at all. With a rise in gang activity (initiations taking the form of women being slashed in the face), it’s no wonder that parents are choosing not to let their kids out on Halloween. I was so glad to be off that day from work, not to take kiddo out early, but because I wouldn’t have to deal with my office closing early due to the fear of gang-related activity.

When I was a kid, Halloween was about getting dressed up in a silly costume and asking people for candy. No one had to worry about contaminated candy or getting slashed back then. The only thing I worried about was filling up my bag with lots of candy that my mom would eventually throw out. I stopped dressing up for Halloween after elementary school. By the time I went to high school, I began worrying about getting bombed with eggs and waited until 5pm (or until the area cleared of egg-toting boys – whichever came first) so that I could go home without getting hurt.

Fast-forward 15 years later and I’ve my own child to think about. I was relieved that he DIDN’T want to go trick or treating. Something about pimples (my son’s 10 and got his first pimple this week). But, I was also disappointed. No kid should have to give up Halloween because of other’s people’s issues. Sadly, this is our reality. What I wonder is, when will it get good again, if it ever will.

 

Originally posted on Heiddi’s Blog. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Heiddi unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Heiddi’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

3 Ways to Be Kind to Editors & Writers

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being kind to Editors & Writers. September marks Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month. We all know that there’s so much negativity in the world today. This month, I wanted to share my tips for spreading the love. Here are some ways to spread kindness all around and keep the positivity going. Enjoy!

1. Be polite. Remember that good manners (online and off) speak volumes about who you are.

2. Sharing is Caring. Freshman Writers, you have expertise in something. Share what you know if a writer/editor asks. And even if you don’t, pass it along to others in your circle. You never know who you can help.

3. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.  The world of freelance writers is small, even though cyberspace can seem huge. People communicate to one another; especially editors & writers. Stay positive on-line and share negativity offline with trusted friends. When I get upset about something, I talk to friends offline to gain perspective. In this way, I get my feelings out without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the positive energy flowing all around you; both online and off.

Happy Writing!